How Can We Strengthen Solidarity
During the unprecedented time of a global pandemic, it is vital for people from different cultures, faiths, experiences and ideas to come together and support one another. In Australia, we have seen many acts of solidarity; from offering help to neighbours with grocery shopping, and allocating special hours for the elderly to access the supermarkets, to community organising food drives to help those affected by unemployment or financial losses to a digital campaign encouraging us to remember that #TogetherWeWin.
Communities around the globe have displayed extraordinary levels of comradery in supporting each other during this crisis. Across Europe, people are singing to one another to uplift spirits as social distancing and self-isolation kick in. In China, residents opened their windows and shouted messages of support to their neighbours and beloved city. There was public applause to thank healthcare workers for their tireless efforts in Switzerland, Denmark, Brazil and Singapore.
Solidarity is an important value in any society. It involves mutual collaboration between individuals which helps us overcome terrible adversities like wars, plagues, diseases etc. Additionally, it’s about helping our loved ones, friends, relatives and acquaintances who find themselves in difficult situations so they can overcome obstacles and move forward. Solidarity based on virtues such as kindness, support, respect and tolerance enables the creating of valuable relationships between communities.
Coming together to fight for social causes, be it climate change, racial injustice, poverty or indigenous issues, is one way to exemplify solidarity. But what are other ways to strengthen solidarity within community?
Tip #1: Treat others as equal and remember we are all “one”
When we start treating others equally, we practice being non-judgmental and empathetic towards people. We will start to notice the similarities that we have and build stronger connections with one another.
Tip #2: Take time to listen to others
Listening is one of the most powerful way to build relationships as it allows people to voice their concerns and at the same time, receive assurance that they are heard.
Tip #3: Be mindful and resourceful
Being mindful and resourceful shows that we can go the extra mile in lending a hand to those in need. Connecting people with the appropriate resources can increase their social support and avenues to seek help when needed.
Tip #4: Educate yourself about various systems of oppression
As Mahatma Gandhi famously say, “Be the change you want to see in the world” and this means that change begins from the self. The vast information available on the internet, books and articles can be useful sources of information to learn about the various important issues in the world.
Tip #5: Speak up and advocate
Lastly, it is essential to use our voice and advocate on issues that require more action from policy makers, politicians, leaders and community at large. Some advocacy efforts can include petitions, awareness raising campaigns and even through social media.
Strengthening solidarity depends on us because our actions can make the difference. It is part of our moral duty to work together in achieving a greater good for the community. We need to unite, thrive and rise above all circumstances that undermine cohesiveness. That’s the way to have a brighter future for ourselves and people that matter to us.
by Haswani Sungit